Book Review: The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage


Shawn Achor

My Rating

star star star

Happiness increases our chances of success in life, both in our personal endeavours and our careers. That's the premise of this book anyway. As is the assertion that happy leaders are more effective because they make their teams happier.

My experiences in life lead me to concur with both statements. I did before reading Shawn Achor's Happiness Advantage and I still do afterwards. The reason I actually read this book was because I wanted to learn techniques that enhance my positive mindset and make me resilient to negative experiences.

Undoubtedly, this book does contain a number of useful techniques that you can use to be more positive. I've already started using the positivity journal, for example. But unfortunately, it just lacks a bit of magic. It's useful and practical, but not inspirational or spellbinding.

The 7 Principles

At the heart the Happiness Advantage are 7 principles - the first of them actually being called "The Happiness Advantage". In general they make sense, although is it a coincidence there are 7 of them, the lucky number 7? I'm skeptical.

Three of the principles are roughly making the same point - you can choose how to perceive things - glass half full or glass half empty etc. One principle - the Zorro Circle - is about breaking down challenges into smaller pieces. I'll concede that some scatterbrains do need reminding of this, although it will be patronising to many.

Each of the principles does come with practical advice. My favourites being to keep a positivity journal and to think of positive outcomes in advance and try to make them a reality. Since I finished reading the book, I am definitely practicing a few of the techniques.

As you can see, the practical advice is oftem just common sense. But people don't always follow common sense - they follow their emotions. What this book does a great job of is making you stop and think about the simple ways you can be happier.


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